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Starwood to Add Design Hotels' 260+ Super Cool Hotel Collection To Its Empire

July 29, 2014 at 5:09 PM | by | Comment (1)

The Number Sixteen Hotel, London

Back in March it was announced that Starwood Hotels& Resorts Worldwide, Inc. intended to enter into a dominating agreement with Design Hotels AG. While it’s not officially a done deal yet, it got a whole lot closer this month, with the majority vote approval received by Design Hotels’ Management Board.

We may not fully grasp the legal details of such an agreement – though reference to “dominating” got our attention— we imagine there will soon be another logo at the bottom of the Starwood Hotels web site. This is big news and here’s how we see it from a design perspective.

Starwood Hotels have always been progressive thinkers in design, across its nine, soon-to-be 10 brands. Starwood turned heads with the debut of W Hotels in New York City back in 1998. This started a design revolution and the initiation of the new lifestyle hotel. Starwoood also has its own design lab (called “idea lab”) and works closely with developers in the design of guest rooms and public spaces for each brand. They were the first hotel group to take the bold step of creating a LEED certified brand, Element Hotels.

Berlin-based Design Hotels are proven masters of sales, marketing and PR to independent, design-oriented hotels with over 260 properties worldwide. Created by Founder and CEO Claus Sendlinger in 1993, Design Hotels always cared about and promoted design and knew that guests would eventually care about design in their choice of accommodation. They were unique and probably a first hotel marketing website to wholeheartedly honor the architects and designers of their member hotels. There is even a book out, Made by Originals, which showcases 200 hotels. A second edition may be something to think about.

Starwood’s interest in Design Hotels comes as no surprise to us. With many of the major brands marketing their own unique hotel collection (Autograph Collection by Marriott; Curio by Hilton,) the concept may well have started with Design Hotels. The way we see it, it seems like a great fit for Design Hotels to be connected to Starwood Hotels, dominating and all.

[Logo: Starwood Hotels]

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SPG participation?

The big question is whether or not all or most of the Design Hotels portfolio will also join Starwood Preferred Guest.

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